By: Carmen Willings
Having reduced vision can make it more difficult for students to acquire accurate information about their social environment, or the context of activities. Not being able to observe physical gestures or facial expressions makes it difficult to understand social nuances. Students must learn appropriate social skills in order to prepare them for success in their homes, their friendships as well as for job and career readiness.
Nonverbal behaviors provide us with a lot of information about conversations and interactions. Students who are blind will not be able to perceive nonverbal communication and students with low vision may not be able to perceive subtle nonverbal communication.This page provides suggestions for helping the student understand non-verbal communication.
Social interaction skills must be taught to students with visual impairments because they are unable to casually observe how people interact and socialize with one another. This section provides information on ways to help students develop positive social skills.
A person's self concept is based on their sense of identify and rooted in their sense of self worth. Families and teams need to encourage the student to develop a good self concept as a person with a visual impairment. This page provides some suggestions on how to do that.
More Social Skills Resources...
Glaser, Edie. All Children Have Different Eyes: Learn to Play and Make Friends...Starring Tommy and Nystagmus (wobbly eyes) and Wendy with Strabismus (crossed eyes). This interactive workbook models for children with visual impairments how to confidently and competently play and make friends while facing difficult social challenges, such as how to answer questions about their condition, enter play groups, and handle their limitations responsibly.
Gaylord-Ross, Robert J. Development of Social Skills by Blind and Visually Impaired Students: Exploratory Studies and Strategies. American Foundation for the Blind, 1992. This text examines the social interactions of children with visual impairments. Theory and research are combined with practical strategies to explore how children can be helped to succeed socially.
Sacks, Sharon. Teaching Social Skills to Students with Visual Impairments: From Theory to Practice. AFB, 2006. This resource book explores what theory can tell us about how children who are visually impaired become socially skilled individuals. It then provides techniques and strategies for helping students develop and refine social skills.
Kekelis, Sacks, Wolffe. Focused On: Teaching Social Skills to Visually Impaired Preschoolers Study Guides. American Foundation for the Blind, 2000. This module provides information on ways to support the social development of young children with visual impairments.
Sacks and Woffe. Focused On: Assessment Techniques Study Guides. American Foundation for the Blind, 2000. This module focuses on assessment techniques for evaluating the social skills of students who are blind or visually impaired.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings